20th > May > 2004 Archive

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OD2 halves music download prices

On Demand Distribution (OD2) slashed prices by up to 50 per cent this morning, in a bid to pre-empt the announcement of rival digital music distributor Napster's UK launch date today.
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Apple creates separate iPod business unit

Apple has spun off its iPod into a division of its own, separating the portable music player from the company's Mac hardware operation.
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US boffins charged with parity violations

Boffins testing the strength of the 'weak' charge of electrons have seen parity violations in electron-electron scattering for the first time. The results could eventually lead to a better understanding of why things have mass.
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Symantec acquires Brightmail for $370m

Symantec is to buy email filter firm Brightmail for approx. $370m cash. It is to integrate Brightmail's anti-spam software into its own line of gateway appliances to create hybrid defences against junk mail and viruses.
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MS ships Mac Office 2004

Microsoft yesterday began shipping the Mac version of Office 2004, but with development of its VirtualPC x86 emulation software still incomplete, the software giant was forced to offer just two of three versions planned.
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'Deceptive duo' hacker pleads guilty

A Florida man pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington D.C. on Wednesday to charges stemming from his role as one half of the high-profile hacking team "The Deceptive Duo", responsible for obtaining sensitive information from government systems, and defacing dozens of governmental and private websites with patriotically-themed messages exhorting the U.S. to shore up cyber defenses.
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Buy my digital nervous systems, Gates tells CEOs

It was five years ago today... MS supremo Bill Gates has never been shy of expounding his dream of a better, more caring world. Back in 1999, he used a CEO summit to plug his own particular vision for human advancement. For shame:
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BT confirms customer exodus

BT is losing between 50,000 and 100,000 residential customers a month, the UK's dominant fixed-line telco finally confirmed today. This loss of customers even takes into account all those punters who return to the company each month - something BT is keen to brag about in its ads.
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Finance houses struggling against hackers

Financial institutions are losing the war against hackers, according to a new survey out this week. The majority of finance houses (83 per cent) quizzed by management consultant Deloitte acknowledged that their systems had been compromised in the past year, compared to only 39 per cent in 2002. Many of the resulting security breaches have resulted in financial loss, according to Deloitte's 2004 Global Security Survey.
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'Spot the terrorist' system was pitched to Cheney by Jeb Bush

A 'terrorism scoring' system which is now claimed to have been dropped was a key factor in selling the controversial MATRIX system to the US Justice Department, claims an Associated Press report.
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Patriot missile: friend or foe?

Our recent story on the 2003 friendly-fire incident which saw a US Patriot missile down a RAF Tornado with the loss of both crew members, prompted several reader comments on the weapon's chequered history.
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Ultimate geek challenge at IPSC

The 2004 Internet Problem Solving Contest (IPSC) kicks off this Friday. Hundreds of programmers from around the world will compete to develop the most efficient and elegant ways of solving a set of problems. In true geek style, competitors battle for bragging rights, not a prize.
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Nildram to offer PAYG broadband

Bucks-based ISP Nildram has added new "pay-as-you-go" broadband products to its existing stable of ADSL offerings in a bid to cash in on demand for entry-level services. Its "dslSurf500" product costs from £19.49 a month and comes in two flavours based either on the amount of data used or time spent online.
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The Number & BT in DQ supremacy spat

Hostilities between two of the UK's big directory enquiries (DQ) operators have broken out again over which one can claim to be number one. The Number has published independent research (which it commissioned incidentally) which shows that its 118 118 service has achieved a market share between 36 per cent in November 2003 to a high of 44 per cent in April this year.
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Napster UK goes live

Napster stole a march on its rivals today by launching the UK incarnation of its online music service immediately - rather sooner than the "end of summer" timeframe it had previously provided.
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Rivals 'welcome' Napster to UK

Napster's UK launch almost certainly appears to have the fledgling music download market's existing British and European players worried.
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Where'd we put 'em? US to buy Stealth bomber detecting radar

The one country that surely doesn't need to find out where Stealth bombers might be is buying a radar system that is claimed to be able to detect them. The USA is reported to be negotiating to buy a set of Vera radars from the Czechs, the quid pro quo being that a deal to sell them to China does not go ahead.
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I Know You Have Porn on your PC

Cash'n'Carrion Good news this afternoon if you're a bit challenged in the drinking receptacle department - Cash'n'Carrion is announcing the return of ITMugs, suppliers of quality mugs to the IT elite.
SGI logo hardware close-up

BT signs global network deal with Manpower

Recruitment outfit Manpower has signed a $73m (£41m) deal with BT to upgrade and manage its worldwide data network.
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US lubes passports with RFID snake oil

Opinion As we reported recently, the US State Department will conduct a trial of biometric passports this Fall, with any eye toward moving to full production in 2005.
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We see no mobile data killer app: IDC

There will be no single killer app for mobile data, according to analysts at IDC. We should add, before all the operators start to panic, that this is because there will be several important factors driving revenue to such an extent that by 2008, the mobile consumer applications market will be worth just under $8bn in Western Europe.
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Italy approves 'jail for P2P users' law

Italy has made transferring content via the Internet without the permission of the copyright holder a criminal offence
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Jail terms for tourists buying pirate CDs in Greece?

Holidaymakers in Greece could face a spell in jail if they're caught buying pirate CDs, the BBC reports. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industries (IFPI) has warned that it will be pushing for prosecution of buyers of pirate CDs, and stressed: "This is not a symbolic measure."
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USAF in secret garage door jamming trials

The USAF has successfully deployed a two-way radio garage door jamming system at its Eglin Air Force base in Florida, according to the state's news-journalonline.

EMC goes low with new NAS head

EMC has announced plans to roll out a new storage system designed to keep Windows users happy by linking lower-end hardware with higher-end kit.
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Wanadoo UK offshore threatens 200 jobs

Wanadoo UK is shunting its tech support operation to India in a move that could threaten the jobs of more than 200 staff in Sheffield. Workers at Capita - which recently took over the contract to run call centre operations for Dixons including narrowband support for Wanadoo UK (formerly Freeserve) - were told today that the ISP has terminated its contract.
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Universe very big: official

Ripples in the microwave radiation afterglow left by the big bang reveal that the universe is at least 78bn light years across.
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'Not the sharpest of knives' - praise heaped on Linux study author

Previous suggestions that the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution would be publishing excerpts from its damning indictment of Linus Torvalds today would appear to be inoperative. According to the AdTI front page free copies are available for "Tocqueville supporters only", the study will be available for purchase from around 20:00 GMT today, and free review copies can be obtained by working press and academics "(copyright agreement required)".*

Can Sun mature from Xeon boy to x86 man?

Sun Microsystems' newest EVP John Fowler has either an incredibly easy or incredibly difficult task ahead of him. It all depends on your perspective.
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US airport fake ID study 'was found in al-Qaida cave'

The US House Aviation Subcommittee yesterday heard how congressional investigators used false IDs to gain access to a series of federal buildings and two commercial airports, and how a copy of the report detailing their success was later found in an al-Qaida cave in Afghanistan. The investigators were 100 per cent successful in getting past security, but apparently less so in the case of their own report's security.